Everything’s bigger in Texas (updated)

The above phrase includes all the rumors that will surface at the Winter Meetings.

I’m sitting at my American Airlines gate, waiting to board my 7:05 a.m. flight to Dallas. I’m stuck in a middle seat. We’re off to a good start.

I chose an airline that also filed for bankruptcy, but it’s promised to honor all flights. I’ll have to serve peanuts and push the drink cart down the aisle, but it’s for a good cause.

Executive vice president Dan Duquette, manager Buck Showalter, new scouting director Gary Rajsich, director of player development John Stockstill and director of international operations David Stockstill will be in Dallas. A few scouts also will attend the meetings. It’s common to find Bruce Kison and Dave Engle walking through the hotel lobby each year.

I also would expect to see Lee Thomas, who’s reportedly been hired as an assistant. The Orioles could make it official today. And as I wrote yesterday, a few more hires could be announced.

You should have the shopping list memorized by now. The Orioles hope to bring home at least one pitcher, and they want to add an outfielder. I think Duquette is more likely to swing a trade than sign a free agent, but he could do both before the Rule 5 draft on Thursday morning.

The Orioles figure to remove a player from the 40-man roster so they can participate in the Rule 5. They’ve got the fourth pick. And the Taylor Teagarden trade should be finalized, with the Rangers selecting the player to be named later from a list of four.

Sorry, but I don’t have the list. It reportedly contains four players eligible for the draft.

You’ll hear rumors that the Orioles are interested in Prince Fielder, and they could meet with agent Scott Boras, just as they met with Brewers officials last winter. Due diligence.

Duquette keeps dumping cold water on any talk that he’ll sign a big-ticket free agent. I’m still learning how he operates, but I tend to believe him regarding Fielder.

I’ll pass along any reports that surface on other sites. As usual, I’ll be knee-deep in tweets. I’ll have to shovel a path through the lobby.

OK, it’s time to pack up my laptop and cram my body in a middle seat. Sleep should come easily, right?

I’ll check your comments when I get to my hotel.

UPDATE: The Orioles will definitely announce more front office hires this afternoon. Stay tuned for that report, and quotes from Duquette and the new executives.

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